NZ Airports Hui 2023

The annual conference of New Zealand’s airports and related businesses.

11 – 13 OCTOBER 2023

NZ Airports Awards 2023

Celebrating the best of New Zealand airports 

The annual NZ Airports Awards celebrate excellence in airport projects and initiatives. 

This year, the NZ Airports Awards 2023 will recognise projects and initiatives from the period 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023. The awards dinner on Thursday 12 October at the Christchurch Art Gallery will recognise and celebrate the nominees and winners.  Participating in the awards helps you to highlight your most outstanding initiatives and team members. 

This year we have a new award, the Emerging Leader of the Year.  Airport and non-airport members can nominate an individual for Emerging Leader of the Year. 

Good luck, and we look forward to seeing you at the NZ Airports Hui 2023.

Awards application guide

This guide provides information on the award categories, judging process and criteria.   

Application Categories

Applications for the NZ Airports Awards 2023 will be accepted in the categories listed below.

Within each category will be sub-categories depending on the size of the airport – large, medium, and small airports1. All airports are encouraged to apply, and entries will be judged against airports of the same size.

Eligible projects and initiatives should have been completed (or phases completed) during the period 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023

Applications can be made jointly with another airport member or with members from the non-airport category.

Infrastructure Project of the Year

This award recognises excellence in airport infrastructure development and upgrades.

Projects may highlight innovative technology, collaboration, operational efficiencies, safety, sustainability and passenger experience outcomes.

Past winners include:

  • Christchurch Airport: Airport Pavement Maintenance Work
  • Timaru Airport and Downer New Zealand: Partial Runway Reseal
  • Wellington Airport, Fulton Hogan and Beca: Wellington
  • Airport runway re-surfacing project
  • New Plymouth Airport: Terminal redesign

Community Engagement Initiative of the Year

This award recognises projects or engagement that build positive relationships and/or make a difference to individuals or groups within the local community.

  • Auckland Airport: Park and Vax Project
  • Hawke’s Bay Airport: Biodiversity Week
  • North Shore Aero Club: Rosmini College Open Day
  • Wellington Airport: Sunflower Lanyards for Hidden Disabilities
  • Invercargill Airport: Jet Service Project

Sustainability Initiative of the Year

This award recognises projects or engagement that demonstrate leadership and action in the sustainability space at an airport campus and/or across the airport network.

Past winners include:

  • Auckland Airport: Airport-wide Team of Biosecurity Champions
  • Hawke’s Bay Airport: Sustainability Linked Loan with ASB Bank
  • Christchurch Airport: Emissions reduction programme

Commercial and non-Aeronautical Initiative of the Year

This award recognises airports that have diversified their business model and developed commercial and non-aeronautical projects at their airport campus.

Past winners include:

  • Auckland Airport: Business Trial of Rapid Antigen Testing
  • Masterton District Council: Hood Aerodrome Master Plan
  • Hamilton Airport: Property investment strategy

Airports of the Year 2023

This is at the discretion of the judging panel, not a separate application. It will consider all the entrants of the above categories.

As with the above categories, airports will be judged against others of the same subcategory – large, medium, and small airports.

Emerging Leader of the Year

We are pleased to present a new award for 2023 recognising our emerging leaders and the importance of supporting a high quality, passionate and diverse aviation workforce.

The Emerging Leader of the Year Award recognises someone making a special impact early in their career at an airport or an airport-related business.

Nominees for this award must be nominated by an NZ Airports member’s chief executive or equivalent. Nominations are welcome for individuals in the first five years of their airport-related career making a significant contribution to any area of airport operations, safety, management or strategy. The judges will be looking for someone showing outstanding future leadership potential in the airports sector.

Nominations should show:

  • how the individual contributes to their airport’s operations, management and/or strategy including examples or summaries of work the individual has been involved in
  • how the individual shows qualities of leadership, collaboration, expertise and passion for the sector

Please see the separate application form for the Emerging Leader award below:

↓ Emerging Leader of the Year Application Form (.docx)

The judges will shortlist nominees for this award, with the final recipient to be endorsed by the NZ Airports Executive Committee.

Application info


For project awards, nominated projects or initiatives must have been completed during the period 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2023.
Projects should clearly demonstrate how they have delivered specific outcomes, including those listed below.
Nominations should comprehensively indicate how the project achieved excellence in the following areas, as appropriate.

  • Innovation
  • Operational efficiency
  • Passenger experience
  • Health and Safety
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Aviation safety and reliability
  • Added value
  • Partnership with stakeholders
  • Other successes and achievements

Nominees may be airport members or corporate members, or a joint nomination from both an airport and a corporate member.


Nominees must be current financial members of NZ Airports at the time of nomination and at the time of the NZ Airports Awards presentation 2023. Entries remain the property of NZ Airports.


The judging panel comprises independent members selected for their expertise and representation of key sectors related to airports and aviation, as well as the Chief Executive of NZ Airports.

Judges will independently assess the nominations against the criteria using marking sheets provided by NZ Airports.

The judging panel’s decision is final. No communication will be entered into.

View Judging Panel here.


NZ Airports may, at its discretion, publicise the entries and award winners.


All entries must be completed and submitted to by no later than 5pm, Wednesday 16 August 2023.

Please use the following application outlines. Additional supporting documents may be submitted with applications limit 10 images and 10 additional pages of supporting material.

↓ NZ Airports Awards 2023 Application Form (.docx)

↓ Emerging Leader of the Year Application Form (.docx)


Our Sponsors

Dr Therese Arseneau
Dr Therese Arseneau